Someone said that experiencing Fartbarf is “like battling through an O.G. Nintendo videogame, on acid, with special appearances from Sega’s Shinobi.” Well, I suppose. At any rate, these maestros are brilliant. They fume creative art, intelligence, and fun.
In many circles Fartbarf can be misunderstood or just way over people’s heads. For one, they apply a stimulating, freaky visual medium to their exhilarating live performances by jamming out in orange NASA jump suits and monkey masks. They could be aptly described as looking like grotesque Planet Of The Apes characters. No gimmicks or hollow novelties here though, these freaky apemen can play.
With the drummer as the backbone, the other two members of Fartbarf put on a complex display of keyboard prowess. I can’t even tell exactly how many boards and devices there are on stage, but I know they always play with at least four to six octaves at once, and that they strictly use analog, electric equipment (and brains). For those of us who don’t speak that language, think of loading, shooting, advancing, winding, and developing film as opposed to shooting and printing digital photos. On top of this, a mastermind in the group, with too much brains on his hands, digs into old games and devices from the 80′s, like Speak and Spells, and manipulates the circuit boards (circuit bending) to produce funkier, more robotic sounds; which are then transmitted and played through various keyboards.
Then there’s the vocals. In a manner analogous to Peter Frampton using a voice box to sing through the strings of his guitar, Fartbarf transform their voices into robotic form and sing through the keyboards. It seems quite complex. They sing into microphones, but manipulate the sound of their voices depending on which keys they play.
Needless to say, even though I did, there’s a lot going on here. I would watch out for these guys, they’re up to something. And fair waring: if you’re not into a good time, probably shouldn’t search them out. (For more details on Fartbarf, check out their blog.) ~Dirty Jeff